This is not a post I ever imagined writing. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives and to beat the curve and protect everyone’s lives we must all stay at home. No one knows how long these virus safety measures will need to stay in place, but it presents a perfect time to protect and improve your health while practising social distancing. While you might feel like eating everything in sight and completely switching off all routine, the healthier you can be the more power you are giving your immune system should you fall ill and so I wanted to share some steps you can take to eat healthier during this time:Plan ahead: Working from home or simply being at home might leave you thinking you’ll have more time on your hands but in reality chores, homeschooling and catching up on emails might actually give you fewer hours. Whilst it might be tempting to scrap all forms of routine and pop to the supermarket whenever you need something, try to gain back some control by aiming to plan out your breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least 5 days. Create a weekly menu and pop it up on the fridge so that you and the whole family can team up together. If you have children at home, include them in meal planning, preparation and cleaning up, it’s also super easy to work on their reading & writing, math and science by doing the following:
- Reading/Writing: Ask them to create a list of what’s in the cupboards and fridge and ask let them look through recipes to find snacks and meals for your family to try.
- Math: Ask them to count out the number of ingredients, take stock of cupboard items, or help plan the time it will take to prepare, cook, eat, and clean up a meal.
- Science: Get kids involved in baking bread, making pizzas, cooking an egg and search the internet to discover the science behind why ingredients change when they are combined, heated, or blended.
Make it fun: Whether it is homemade or takeout, eating more meals at home is a new routine for many families. Keep the stress down by making mealtime fun and a team effort. Ask your family members to help set the table, pour the water, make the salad, or grate the cheese, even create table themes or table names.
Reconnect: There are so many positives to being at home with loved ones, it’s an amazing chance to reconnect with your family or friends. Using your food menu, aim to switch up the normality by eating together at the table or having a picnic on the floor or under a fairy light fort.
Working from home: The hardest part about being at home is trying not to devour everything in your cupboards, especially if you’re not used to working from home. If you can aim to create your workspace in a room that is not your kitchen. Pop a bottle of water on your desk and even do your lunchbox to stop you from grazing all day. Schedule in regular breaks and, if you’re allowed, time to be outside in the fresh air and move.
Nutrition: While it seems everyone has been raiding the cupboards and stocking up, there is no shortage of food so please be mindful before panic buying. In most cases this will only lead to food wastage and you eating more calories in a day than needed. Be mindful that you are most likely moving much less than normal so you don’t need to eat as much during the day. As long as it’s not a negative trigger I recommend using apps such as MyFitnessPal or other similar trackers to see how much you are eating and help you gain back a little bit of control.
Manage Boredom: One of the easiest ways to end up with your head in the fridge is due to boredom. Try to resist hanging around the fridge or mindlessly watching TV. Create some new hobbies, read, cook, make videos with your family, join in on the many Live Instagram workouts and stay in touch with family and friends and colleagues. I’d love to hear the ways you’re trying to stay healthy during this time so please pop them in the comments! Stay safe guys.